Tag Archive: zucchini

Plank Grilled Zucchini Boats with Cous Cous

From MiddleSister:

My husband actually picked this recipe to support my healthy eating.  Poor thing, the next morning, I found an empty leftover take out pizza box.  But, I loved it.  The original recipe came from Cooking Light’s Way to Cook Grilling cookbook.  I changed it up quite a bit.  I grilled and then stuffed the zucchini.  It suggested stuffing and then grilling.  I added bacon and flavored olive oil.  Personally, I think you would get much better flavor out of the shallots and spinach if they were sauteed and then you added the broth.

While it really was quite filling and satisfying as a main dish, I think next time, I would serve one as a side dish to a chicken breast with Chimichurri or a lemon-basil chicken breast.  You could also chop up the zucchini and mix it in with the cous cous, but then use a larger skillet. I would still salt and grill it because the flavor of the zucchini alone was amazing.

Zucchini Boats

I just can’t decide what to take to Yahoo Shine Supper club this month.  So, I’ll take this one over with my beets.

Zucchini Bruschetta

I like this dinner because it checks all the boxes for good for you and good flavor.  I don’t think I could ever be a complete vegetarian but I could stick with just having an occassional burger or steak.  This is a fast and easy weeknight dinner that requires just a little of everything and a LOT of zucchini.

Zucchini Boats

One last zucchini meal.  I really do like the things I have come up with this year.  This one is very tasty and it is an adaptation (very far removed).

Zucchini Boats

  • 2 Hatch green chiles, or 1 small can chopped green chiles
  • 2 cups corn kernels
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 medium zucchini squash
  • 1 cup cooked Israeli couscous
  • 4 ounces Colby-Jack cheese, shredded (about 1 cup packed, plus a little extra for sprinkling on top of tomatoes)

Wash and dry the chiles and leave the stems on, use a knife and slit about a 1” verticle slit near the stem, and place them on a grill, the broiler or over the open flame on your gas stove.   I prefer the gas grill outside when the weather permits. (In El Paso that is almost always!)  Turn them until they are charred on all sides.  Once they are blackened all over, put them in a bowl or pan and cover tightly with plastic wrap, a plastic bag or even foil.  You want them to steam completely.  They need to be cool enough to handle.  With the back of a paring knife slip the charred skin away by sliding the knife down the chile.  Remove as much of the blackened skin as possible.  A little char adds to the smoky flavor of the chile.  DO NOT RINSE THE CHILES when preparing them for sauces, enchiladas, pico de gallo or casseroles/stews, unless instructed in a recipe. Dice the chiles into ¼” dice.

Add corn and onion to a non-stick pan and cook for 10 minutes, half way through, stir mixture and then sprinkle with minced garlic. Add corn mixture to chopped chiles; stir in oregano, oil, lime juice, salt, cumin, and black pepper.

Cut the zucchini in half and scoop out the inside; set aside.

Cook the couscous according to the package instructions. Remove from heat; fluff with a fork. Add to corn mixture; toss well.  Add the cheese to the mixture and carefully combine all ingredients.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Spoon corn mixture evenly among each zucchini boat. Place in a baking dish.  Add about ¼ cup water to steam the squash.  Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Preheat broiler and sprinkle a little cheese on each zucchini. Broil 1 1/2 minutes or until cheese melts/browns. Serve immediately.

Sharing this week with Jam Hands and:
Foodie Friends Friday

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

The garden for this summer was a wonderful idea. I enjoyed planting, watering, feeding and harvesting all the veggies. I am about out of ideas with what to do with a big crop of zucchini and yellow summer squash. I have given some to friends, but I don’t think they like to cook as much as I do. I hate to burden them anymore. I have put off making anything sweet, but I gave in Sunday when I had about 7 zucchini squash in the frig. I grated enough for 7 bags of squash for the freezer. I can enjoy that later on. Then I gave in and grated the rest for a Zucchini Spice Cake (oh, Chocolate Zucchini Spice cake with Dark Chocolate Butter Cream icing).

I use my Presto Salad Super Shooter when I grate my zucchini. I like the texture better than with the food processor which is very fine. It is smaller and much easier to clean up quickly. It is a really handy tool in my kitchen.

I bring baked items such as this to work. It will be eaten and shared with a lot of people. We cut it into small pieces. That way we don’t feel we are doing too much damage to the diet. Now, how many times they return for another little piece, I don’t keep count!

I hope you find this recipe useful and delicious. It took about an hour after slicing` and the cake was gone. I send out an email to a few key people and they help spread the word through the building.

This is a simple cake to mix up. It all goes in the mixing bowl and into the 9”X13” baking pan. Bake at 350° for 50-60 minutes. Don’t over bake to make it dry out. Test with a wooden skewer for doneness.

Chocolate Zucchini Spice Cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • ¾ cups unsweetened dark chocolate cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs (room temp)
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable oil
  • 4 cups grated zucchini

Preheat the oven to 350°. Prepare a 9”X13” baking pan with non-stick spray.

In a bowl of a Kitchen Aid stand mixer or a medium bowl stir together the dry ingredients. Add the eggs, vanilla and vegetable oil and mix well.

Fold in the grated zucchini and put into the prepared baking pan.

Bake for 50-60 minutes until tested with a wooden skewer that comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack until completely cool. Frost with Chocolate Butter Icing. (This was my mom’s recipe and it works for me.)

Chocolate Butter Icing

  • ¾ stick of unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup milk or cream
  • 4-6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Warm the butter and milk together in the microwave for about 1 minute. (Momma would have scaled the milk in a sauce pan on the stove.) Add to the powdered sugar and cocoa in a medium bowl. Mix well. (you may need a little more or a little less milk, depends on the powdered sugar.) Add the vanilla and beat until fluffy.

Spread on the cooled cake. This can be refrigerated or served at room temperature. (I store cakes in my boss’s office until ready to serve. It is cold enough in there to feel like a refrigerator.)

This is the cake before it is iced.

Zucchini Overload Bread

This is a small loaf.

Help!  I’m in zucchini overload!  The crop is really producing a lot of squash and I can’t eat it all.  We finally had a cooler day (high 86° on July 4!) and I felt a need to bake.  As children my mom always made cookies on one of those rare mid-summer rainy days.  I think it was to keep 4 children who were in the house all day from driving her crazy!  The benefits to us were wonderful.  Lots of chocolate chip, orange almond ice box and oatmeal cookies for snacks!

I made 2 batches of zucchini bread.  I made one with nuts and chocolate chips and one plain.   I made that with chocolate chips and pecans in regular sized loaf pans and took one to a friend for dinner last night.  The other I brought to work for my friends today.  The other batch I made without chocolate and pecans and took one to the sweet girls at the allergy clinic, gave one to Nelda and I guess I’ll keep the third small loaf.  I may make another batch to take to the Blog Hop til You Drop, It’s So Very Cheri and Katherine’s Favorite Things

 

Use the fine grater blade on your food processor.

 

 

 

  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Mexican vanilla
  • 2 ½ cups grated zucchini (2 medium zucchinis)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • *Optional:  1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1 cup chopped pecans

Beat eggs, oil and sugar until light.  Add vanilla and zucchini.  Mix well.

In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients to lighten and add to the wet ingredients and blend by hand.

Prepare 2 regular loaf pans with non-stick spray and divide the batter evenly. Or use 3 small loaf pans prepared the same.

Bake at 350° for about 55-60 minutes until lightly browned on top and when pierced with a skewer it comes out clean.   Bake at 350° for 45 minutes for the small loaf pans.

Cool 10 minutes in the pans and immediately loosen and remove from the pans.  Wrap in foil, but don’t seal the ends while still hot.   Seal well when cooled.

This is best after resting in the foil for 24 hours.  Very moist.

*I added the chocolate chips and pecans because I wanted something a little sweeter for a dessert.  It was very good.

 

Sunday Night Garden Supper

Almost too pretty to eat....ALMOST!

Sunday Night Garden Supper

This blogging has really stirred up memories of the good food my momma used to make.  That and the bumper crop of tomatoes, squash and peppers I have this year.  Meals and Memories is what it’s all about with me some days.  Nothing is more pleasurable than picking squash, green peppers and tomatoes and then deciding what to do with them all.  Tonight it caused a walk down memory lane with my momma’s black cast iron skillet, yellow squash, corn meal, a bell pepper and onion.  Next was some pepper steak with some browned round steak, bell peppers, onions and the rest of the tomatoes I have picked this week.  My momma always had tomatoes on the window sill above her kitchen sink in various stages of ripeness.  I have a corner of my kitchen counter in the same shape.  With the heat they were all about to be too ripe.  So I diced them up and made a rich pepper steak with them.  Now if I could just get my hands on a Pecos cantaloupe I’d be perfectly fine.

It has been so hot I don’t think I’ll have too many more tomatoes for a while.  The weather man is forecasting rain, but I won’t quit watering until I see it for myself.  Probably on the 4th of July parade we will have a shower or two.

Pepper Steak

  • 1 small round steak tenderized
  • Olive oil
  • Flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 bell pepper, medium dice
  • 1 yellow onion, medium dice
  • 3-4 medium tomatoes, medium dice
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon red chile flakes
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ cups water or beef broth

Cut the meat in 1” pieces (I have mine tenderized at the butcher).  Lightly toss in flour to coat and brown in the olive oil.  I used about 2 tablespoons.  It depends on how much meat and flour you use.  Once browned on both sides remove and add the onion, bell pepper and red pepper flakes to the pan.  When they have started to soften add the tomatoes, water or broth, Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce.

Simmer this on medium heat until all the vegetables are tender and the sauce has thickened slightly from the flour.  You may want to thicken it a bit more with some corn starch and water.  Serve over rice.

Skillet Squash with a Corn Meal Crust

  • 3-4 medium yellow squash
  • 1 bell pepper
  • ½ medium yellow onion
  • Corn meal
  • Vegetable oil

Slice the squash into bite-size slices.  Dice the bell pepper and onion into about the same size pieces.

Heat the oil in the cast iron skillet and just before adding the squash toss them in a little yellow corn meal.  This won’t form mush of a breading on the squash, but it does form a crust that browns in the skillet.  Don’t turn it until it begins to brown.

Drain on paper towel and serve on a warm plate.

Happy old fashioned eating from my memories to your table.

Dusting this one off for:

 

A Heat Wave Recipe! Pasta Salad

It is hot here in this dusty west Texas border town.  (That sounds like the beginning of a song!)  All I can think of is iced tea and very cool salads to eat.  No oven right now in the Tumbleweed Contessa’s kitchen.  I use the outside grill some.  Most of the time I spend watering the flowers and veggies in the garden just to keep them from burning up.  This will pass soon and the famed “monsoon” season will be upon us.  We might get an inch of rain!

When I think about a summertime meal one of my favorites is pasta salad.  I can eat it all by itself or I like to serve it with a piece of roasted chicken (from the deli) or cold fried chicken (from the Colonel), but I like it served best as a side with a cold ham sandwich the second day.  It is great to take on a picnic or to a church pot luck supper too.

I had never eaten a pasta salad until I moved to El Paso.  Hank had moved here before our family did. He found a deli near one of his construction projects on the eastside of town.  Once we got here he raved about this pasta salad.  He even brought it home once or twice for us to try and for me to figure out how to make.  I gave it a try or two, but couldn’t make it taste like the deli’s version.  So, I gave up.  Later on, Jan, a teacher at the SEE School (where I worked)  had a pasta salad everyone liked.  I ask her for her recipe and she told me she got it from the same deli as Hank used to get his supply from.  Finally, that deli opened in a grocery store on the west side (my side of town) and I got to be a regular there to try to figure out how it was made.  It was the dressing or marinade that was the secret.  Finally I tried a different oil and everyone loved it!  I use the Good Season’s Spicy Italian salad dressing mix.  Two packets, one made with olive oil and white wine vinegar and one with vegetable oil and white distilled vinegar. The longer it can marinate in the frig before serving, the better it tastes.

Pasta Salad

  • 1 package (16 ounces) uncooked pasta
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 cup broccoli cuts
  • ½ small red onion, finely diced
  • ½ cup scallions, thinly sliced (green and white parts)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 3 small carrots peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut in half and thinly sliced into half moons
  • 1 jar marinated artichoke hearts cut in quarters, not drained too well
  • 1/2 cup green olives, sliced
  • ½ cup black olives, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1 cup slice white mushrooms
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Italian salad dressing mix (2 packets)
  • Olive oil (according to package directions)
  • Vegetable oil (according to package directions)
  • White wine vinegar (according to package directions)
  • White distilled vinegar (according to package directions)

Cook the pasta as directed on package, adding the broccoli to the boiling water for the last 3 minutes of the pasta cooking time.  Drain; rinse under cold running water.  Drain very well; place in a large bowl to mix.( I use a bowl with a lid to seal well to marinate.)

Add the remaining veggies and toss well with dressing.  Refrigerate at least 1 hour or preferably overnight, stirring a few times.   Taste before serving to add more dressing or salt and pepper.

I serve the salad lightly drained in a separate bowl with the excess dressing reserved to store leftovers.